Are you enjoying your life today?
I imagine that a lot of you will answer no to this question. For one reason or another, maybe even one that you can't accurately name, you'd say that you aren't exactly happy.
Why not decide to enjoy life? Why not choose to be happier today?
It really is a conscious choice that we can make. After all, we choose to be unhappy. We decide to get irritated, frustrated, mad, offended and upset. We let ourselves dread the day. We decide that we hate our jobs, don't like our spouses and that everyone is out to get us. Why not choose the alternative that is in our favor?
I challenge you to decide right this minute that you are going to enjoy your life today and begin choosing happiness regularly. I'll even help you get started down the right path.
Choosing to Enjoy Your Life
You need to make enjoying your life a habit – an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. In other words, you need to structure your thinking so that happiness is the default. Wouldn't it be great to wake up every morning with a sense of hopeful, joyful expectancy instead of dread and apprehension?
You've got to retrain your brain to choose happiness so you can enjoy your life.
Here are five patterns of thought that can help you steer yourself in the right direction. You'll need to intentionally and purposefully practice this thinking until it becomes a regular pattern. This will likely take several weeks, but the payoff in terms of your quality of life will be well worth it.
1. Declare Your Resolve to Enjoy Today
"I will enjoy today," make this clear declaration at the beginning of each day and commit to it. Firmly resolve in your mind that, no matter what happens, you are going to stay positive and happy.
"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right," says Henry Ford. In other words, your mind is a very powerful influence over your reality. Train your brain to expect good things and it will naturally help make it so. Keep the thought, "I am going to enjoy today," at the forefront of your mind. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day when you feel circumstances tugging you in another direction.
2. Acknowledge You Have Everything You Need
If you are alive and conscious, then you have what you need to enjoy today. Everything on top of that is gravy. Therefore, I suspect that you have a lot of gravy that should make enjoying today even easier for you. Recount to yourself the things that you have to be thankful for and that makes enjoying today easier for you. For example, here's some of what you might include:
- I am in good health.
- I have people that love me.
- I have plenty of food to eat.
- I have enough money to survive.
- I have access to clean drinking water.
- I have personal freedom.
- I have mental clarity.
You see it is really the basics in life that enable us to enjoy today – put all the other crap aside. Focus on what you have and not what you lack. Cast aside your excuses and embrace the opportunity to enjoy today. This is the moment you have. Don't waste it.
3. Visualize the Ideal Day
Once you decide to enjoy today and acknowledge you have what you need, then create a clear vision in your mind's eye of how you want the day to go. Imagine how you'll feel, what you will do and where you will go. In other words, plan to be happy. Your mind likes creating models and matching your reality to these models. Train it so it knows the path you want to follow. At the start of each day, visualize your ideal day and your life will slowly, but surely, start moving in that direction.
4. Grow Into It
You cannot trust your emotions. They will lead you astray. You have to grow into a pattern of thinking that allows you to control your reactions if you want to keep the world from stealing your joy. A big source of unhappiness comes from letting your circumstances fire-up negative emotions. It takes maturity and mental preparation to recognize when your emotions are about to get the better of you. Lean on your resolve to enjoy today and immediately reject any emotions that go against your vision for the day. It will take some work to make this a habit, but it is a powerful groove to create.
5. Retain Your Power
"He made me mad," is another way of saying, "I'm giving my power to him." You see, when you let the actions of another offend you and steal your joy, you have given them power over your life. You have lost what you want – your peace and sense of well-being. You say, "But Jeff, she was really wrong." I know, but by becoming offended, you aren't really hurting her. You are only hurting yourself. You have to train yourself to retain your power. Keep control of your day. Don't let some fool rob you of your enjoyment. Brush it off and move on. Again, this will take some practice, but once you make it a habit, then you'll have many more positive days to enjoy.